Sustainable design strategies in practice and their influence on business models

  • Elli Verhulst
  • Casper Boks


Developments towards sustainable product innovations receive a growing attention in business as a result of several driving forces. Incorporating strategies for sustainable product innovations in a firm takes a longitudinal implementation trajectory. During and after the implementation of strategies for sustainable design, sustainable business models can emerge. This paper describes insights from practice – based on an empirical study in business cases- on how the implementation of sustainable design strategies in practice may contribute to business models evolving into sustainable business models. The results suggest two trajectories: sustainability can be added to the standard business model leading only to limited changes, or the implementation of the strategies lead to the development of a new business model that delivers more sustainable outcomes. The influence on the business model is indicated in the study to depend on the choice of strategy for sustainable product innovations and on the maturity of the firm.


sustainable design strategy business models case study 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elli Verhulst
    • 1
  • Casper Boks
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Design SciencesArtesis University College AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  2. 2.Department of Product DesignNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway

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